What’s Detention Like?

Insight into the positive effect of detention on the O’Dowd community and student responses to it

Whats Detention Like?

Lamya Harrell, Contributor

Detentions haven’t been given to O’Dowd students in a while, but this year, they are rising in frequency due to dress code violations, tardiness, and other behavioral issues. Detentions can be given by teachers and other faculty members, but the final say is given to the deans. Many students believe that the administration is much stricter with detentions this year than they were in years past, specifically last year.

Dean Ms. Donahue notes, “You shouldn’t compare anything to last year, last year was a return from Covid, it was a rough year.” O’Dowd used detentions before Covid struck, but the consistency was lacking because the deans themselves had to oversee it.

Detention monitor Mr. Kohler notes that it is “generally quite nice,” but students “clearly aren’t excited to be there.” Students arrive in the classroom after school, hand in their phones, and begin serving their detention in silence. Mr. Kohler continues, “The students come in, and they understand what the expectation is… They understand what they need to do, and when their time is done, I excuse them, and they are good to leave.”

On the surface, it might not seem all that horrible, but after a few serves, the monotony might become overpowering. Detention is irritating, difficult, and oftentimes embarrassing, according to O’Dowd students. Nyah Greenwood states, “I felt ashamed since I had to explain to all of my teammates why I would be late to practice.” Similarly, Tobias Aisien expresses, “It consumes time I could be spending on extracurricular activities.”

Detention has been shown to be an effective strategy for faculty to preserve a healthy environment for everyone, even though it may not always be the best course of action in all disciplinary cases. According to Ms. Donahue, “Detentions help a redirection of behavior.” It has been described as “boring” by many students, who also voice their displeasure and wish to never attend again. Detention may not always be the best option, but, it is the option the deans see most fit for the moment. In order to administer less detentions in the future, faculty hopes to see significant behavioral improvement throughout the rest of the year.